The Obama administration is alerting employees to the possibility of a partial government shutdown if talks on bills to fund the government and extend the payroll tax cut collapse later this week.

American_ClockWith Congress facing a midnight Friday deadline to either pass a short-term or final measure to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, Cabinet secretaries and agency heads planned to send an e-mail message to workers by close of business Wednesday informing them that a shutdown could occur, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the plans.

A shutdown would not apply to a wide swath of agencies and departments that already have full-year funding in place thanks to a partial spending bill that passed in November, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, House and Urban Development, Justice, State, and Transportation, NASA, and other smaller agencies covered by separate appropriations measures.

In a statement, Office of Management and Budget spokesman Kenneth Baer said Wednesday that “There is no reason for the government to shut down.”Congress could act quickly to pass a short- or long-term spending measure, Baer said, as they have seven times already this year.

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Source: Ed O’Keefe | The Washington Post